Friday 6 September 2019

A Journeyman to Grief - Maureen Jennings - Detective Murdoch Book 7

A Journeyman to Grief
Detective Murdoch Book 7
Maureen Jennings
McClelland & Stewart
An imprint of Penguin Random House Canada

ISBN 9780771046797
eISBN 9781551991399

It is with some sadness that I write this review. For this is the last of the Detective Murdoch books, and in fact the last of Jennings’s published novels for me to read. In the last 14 weeks I have read all of Jennings’s novels and the 1 published Murdoch novella or short story. This one was not my favorite, but I loved the story. I had figured out much of it, but there were some surprising twists at the end that I just did not see coming. I loved Jennings’s novels. And I would have no qualms recommend this or any of her other published works. I have been greatly impressed with her attention to details, her mastery of historical fiction. The subtle Catholic elements in most stories. And love that her different series are set in different historical periods. With every book I read I became more impressed with her skill and mastery of the writing arts. And I particularly love that the Murdoch books form one continuous story, with overlapping elements and characters. To do a comparison to science fiction the Murdoch novels are more like Babylon 5 (a single continuous story) than Star Trek where every episode can practice all stand alone. In case you do not get those reference, I will clearly state The Murdoch books are excellent reads as are all the books written by Jennings!

But back to this novel. The current events in this story take place in the spring of 1896. This story is set some time after the previous book and 19 years before the next. But part of this story goes back to July of 1858 and most of the events of this story are told in and around the consequences of that terrible event. This was a time during slavery in the United States, the underground railroad. The lead up to the US Civil War. There are some very disturbing murders in this story. And Some very disturbing events around treatment of slaves. 

In and around the investigation Murdoch’s life takes many changes. From his co lodgers getting engaged. To Brackenreid being in a tough place and relying on Murdoch’s discretion. To surprises in his own personal life. But all of that is shrouded by the murders and the need to solve the cases which are obviously linked. 

This is a great read in an excellent series. The Murdoch from the books is different from the TV series, but just as an enjoyable a character to follow. The historic setting of Toronto is an interesting backdrop to the book and the series. This specific story has a few excellent twists. A great read that was hard to put down. 

Books by Maureen Jennings:
Detective Murdoch Series:

0.5 Shipwreck
1.0 Except the Dying
2.0 Under the Dragon's Tail
3.0 Poor Tom Is Cold
4.0 Let Loose the Dogs
5.0 Night's Child
6.0 Vices of My Blood
7.0 A Journeyman to Grief
8.0 Let Darkness Bury the Dead

Detective Inspector Tom Tyler Series:
1.0 Season of Darkness
2.0 Beware This Boy
3.0 No Known Grave
4.0 Dead Ground in Between

Christine Morris Series:
1.0 Does Your Mother Know?
2.0 The K Handshape


Paradise Café Series:

1.0 Heat Wave
2.0 November Rain

Other books:
The Map of Your Mind: Journeys into Creative Expression
Investigating Murdoch Mysteries: The Official Companion to the Series – with Michelle Ricci and Mir Bahmanyar

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